Disney World in Advance: What You Need to Reserve Ahead, and When
If you're planning a Disney World trip, you're required to make plans ahead of time. Don't miss out by waiting until the day you arrive to book the following tours, shows, activities, and dining experiences.
Pictured above: Festival of the Lion King at Disney's Animal Kingdom
All this folderol is why people who just visit the park for the day have to stick to counter-service meals, where reservations aren't required.
Using the Disney World app 60 days out, secure your place for bizarre alien cocktails at Oga's Cantina, for a spot at a guided session of light saber fabrication at Savi's Workshop, and for Droid Depot if you want to build your own radio-controlled robotic toy.
If you miss out on reserving any of them, you'll have to attempt to join the walk-up list, but you'll have to try at the park. Of the three activities, Droid Depot is the easiest to get into without a prior booking.
The pre-planning doesn't stop on the day of your visit. At 7am sharp, the Virtual Queue opens on the Disney World ap. That's when the hottest, newest rides accept timed reservations using a lottery system. If a ride is using Virtual Queue, there may not be a way to wait in line for it otherwise. Don't miss the 7am drawing, in which you can participate from anywhere. There will be a second one at 1pm that you must be inside the park for.
Lightning Lane is Disney's paid system that allows you to book a time to wait in a faster line. A majority of the attractions that have Lightning Lane will permit guests to access the system by paying extra for Genie+, and that starts at 7am on the day of your visit. One or two of the most popular rides in each theme park are not accessible by Genie+; if you want Lightning Lane for those, you have to pay extra yet again. Those slots open at 7am as well.
That's a lot of bureaucracy to tackle every day at 7am! Hope you didn't need to drive to the parks at that hour.